Tuesday 14 May 2013

Developing geography related vocabulary

I saw this website today and thought how great it would be to use it in the classroom for developing words related to places and describing different places. The site  GeoGuessr is actually based on Google maps and it's a simple game.

The game works like this:
  • You see an image of an unknown place somewhere in the world and you have to guess where it is and click that place on the map. 
  • Because this is based on Google maps street view you can actually explore around the image and look for clues.
  • Once you click on the map you will see the real location and how close or far away you were.
  • You are awarded points depending on how close you are to the real location.
  • You have five turns to score as many points as possible.

How to use the site for EFL /ESL
The game itself doesn't really involve any language input or output, but you can easily add that.
  • If you are using it in a single computer classroom you can show students the image and ask them to guess where it is. Ask them to justify their answers by describing what they can see. This way you can also practice modal verbs such as 'it may be', 'it might be' 'it could be', 'it must be' etc.
  • If students are working on computers you can put them in pairs and get one student to describe what they can see and the other student to listen and try to guess where the place is.
  • You could get students to make some notes and brainstorm words related to each of the places and then write a short description of each of the five places as though they visited them during a round the world journey.
  • For lower levels you could just play the game and get the students to call out the names of the places. 

What I like about the site
  • This a is a great way to bring the world into the classroom.
  • Students can really explore inside the images and pan around to look for clues.
  • It's fun and a little bit addictive.
  • It's an engaging and unpredictable way to get students interacting with content.
I hope you and your students enjoy playing with GeoGuessr

Related links:


Nik Peachey

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